As I wrote about a few weeks back, the University of North Dakota has appointed a nickname and logo taskforce to address concerns surrounding the nomination of a new “identity” for the school and its athletic teams. This taskforce conducted a virtual town hall by video teleconference in several cities across the state simultaneously on November 17, which according to sources in a few of the cities was very well attended.
The overwhelming consensus from the evening’s festivities was not surprising: no new name is needed. It should be Sioux or no name at all. If it can’t be Sioux, North Dakota works better than any other substitute. I’d like to of course think this is because everyone who attended read my post beforehand and magically saw the same light, but I think the reality is this solution makes total sense.
Apparently discussed at this townhall was a survey commissioned by UND to gather input from a wide variety of groups who have an interest both in what UND was and could become. In checking it out (you can too by going here… if you want to fill it out make sure you do so by Nov 30th) I found it was another facade similar to the taskforce set up by UND to give the appearance of seeking input.
My chief concern was the fact that they wanted your name (a mandatory field I’m told– I didn’t complete the survey to find out). What survey asks for your name, except ones that want to ensure responses from those with “undesirable” input have a better chance at “accidentally” getting left out of the conclusions? This one did. You can see for yourself below:
Also concerning was the obvious lack of opportunity to show in your responses what so many at the townhalls and across the state have been saying — UND is the Sioux, or no name at all. Each question builds on the next, leading the survey taker down the path to the veiled conclusion that the name will change, the new name has been picked already, and this survey is simply UND touching some bases to make it appear as if they played the public input game.
UND and the State Board of Higher Education has taken what has proven to be a ham handed approach to pretty much all things associated with the Fighting Sioux issue. The nickname taskforce, and now this survey, are the latest examples of this. At this point the answer is simple — Sioux or no name at all. UND would be well advised to keep it simple with this answer.